Can videogames turn you into an emotionless killing machine?

Discussion in 'Gaming and Software' started by skintboymike, Dec 8, 2008.

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  1. Yes, help me hide the bodies

    16.4%
  2. No, I can't even get out of my chair unaided, let alone kill someone

    8.2%
  3. Maybe, but I don't play games cos I have a life

    8.2%
  4. Leave me and my games alone you Elf n Safety Nazis

    67.2%

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  1. This topic has been brought up every time a kid who happens to own a copy of the latest GTA or Manhunt goes on a killing rampage. I thought it would be interesting to hear a squaddie's perspective, especially those on here who occasionally face life and death situations themselves.

    Graphics are so realistic nowadays that an on-screen killing looks like a snuff movie. However, I've been playing videogames for nearly 30 years so far, and have so far not felt the need to kill anyone (and I've played some pretty violent games). Am I alone?

    It could be argued that the increased exposure to violent scenes could de-sensitise an individual to real life crimes of a similar nature. Couldn't it also be argued, however, that violent videogames are a way of venting one's built-up aggression in a controlled manner?
     
  2. BrunoNoMedals

    BrunoNoMedals LE Reviewer

    It could be argued that people with a violent or criminal nature will do these things regardless, and those without see it as entertainment and not instruction.

    This is one of my pet-peeves. I've played hundreds of games over the last 18 years and I haven't done anything stupid that they are supposedly "glorifying": Stealing cars, murdering hookers, burning down villages, setting off nukes, joining the Army...

    It's the blame and claim culture that started in the US and took off over here. People do NOT want to believe that their innocent little chavs or misfits are capable of anything evil. It's not the parents' fault, it's the Playstations. BULL SH*T.

    Marilyn Manson and the XBox did not cause Columbine. Two messed up kids who'd been treated like sh*t their entire lives caused Columbine. Games were not a catalyst. I wouldn't even say they were "training". People need to get a fcuking grip.



    I need to leave the office now, so I'm going to continue this rant when I get home!
     
  3. Whilst I think you can condition people to pull the trigger it does actually take physical training and conditioning to do it. Human beings are programmed not to kill. Iirc there have been studies done whereby in WW2 it was only 2% that actually did the killing and they were psychopaths and having a good time. Then after/during Vietnam the Americans realised that only 50% of their combat soldiers (marines??) were actually firing their weapons and therefore revised the training regime. I'm sure I've seen figures for the British Army that it is 98% that now fire their weapon in combat. I'm sure someone will correct me if that's not right.

    I've been playing shoot 'em ups for years as have most of the people I know. Even my brother's wife likes a bit of battlefield 1942 now and again as a way to wind down. If video games were to blame then such violence would be at epidemic proportions and yours truly would be at the forefront of such slaughter. Blaming video games is the same as blaming video nasties in the 80's. Won't someone think of the children....? It's over-reactive nonsense perpetrated by busy bodies who wouldn't know their Doom from their HL2 or their arrse from their elbow.

    I can see how simulators can be used for training purposes but usually these types of systems are for weapons that kill at quite a distance e.g. aircraft/tanks/AVFs/ etc so I can't see the difference because you still need to be trained in how to use the damn things and it saves money on ordnance.
     
  4. Command_doh

    Command_doh LE Book Reviewer

    No is the answer.

    I played Fallout 3 recently, which allows your avatar the opportunity to kill and maim in inventive fashions, feast upon human flesh and quaff blood, enslave children and sell them for a profit, nuke an entire city, and betray friends for money. There is a nifty 'karma' system that allows you to balance good acts against evil acts, in order for people to respond to you more favourably. For the vast majority of the game, my karma level has been 'Evil Incarnate'.

    I am also a great fan of the GTA series, and played Manhut - found it to be tedious and repetitive.

    I haven't murdered anyone yet, and whilst we all have the urge to occasionally stove some tw@t's head in with a lead pipe (just me then :D ? ), we don't act upon those impulses.

    Computer/console games are just an excuse for the rags to blame all societies ill's on an easy target. I would be more worried with the appalling standards of parenting across large areas of society and the 'feral street kids' the lack of firm parenting produces, with chav scum like Sharron Matthews and their ilk being a great advertisement of such people.
     
  5. BrunoNoMedals

    BrunoNoMedals LE Reviewer

    Right I'm back. Part two of my rant is a minor aside, that I believe has some bearing on the discussion.

    Manhunt 2.

    Here we have a game that has the player killing a wide variety of people in some interesting and downright nasty and graphic ways. I've never played the game, but I don't doubt for a minute that that statement is true - nor do I imagine that the makers would disagree.

    The BBFC refused to classify it, which while not a ban per se does effectively prohibit its sale in the UK. They based their decision on the the fact that the game was solely about this nasty murder, saying it was callous and cold and not suitable for any audience.

    This is the same BBFC that has allowed not one, not two, but FIVE "SAW" movies to play on our cinema screens, and be sold on DVD. I wouldn't mind, but it's not even like the films are any bloody good.

    As far as I'm concerned, there is no real difference in the "theme of callous, unrelenting murder" between Manhunt 2 and any SAW movie you care to name. The plotlines may differ (and given the standard of gaming today, versus the crap that Hollywood spews out, I'd put money on Manhunt having a superior story to it), but the intent is the same: make people cringe with something nasty.

    So, why is a movie treated differently to a film? Because it's interactive? What kind of excuse is that? At least a computer game is quite blatantly less realistic, simply because of the graphics. CGI in a game is nothing compared to the effects in a film.

    Things like this are administered by a bunch of 50-60 year olds who've spent their lives watching films (and probably Mary Whitehouse), but who never touch a computer game. They have minimal knowledge or appreciation of the genre as an entertainment or an art, beyond what's necessary to convince someone of a similar ilk that they are suitable for the job. They have long-standing prejudices that affect their judgement and result in blatant hypocrisy.

    Here's where the two debates merge: This kind of mindset is the one that permeates through those areas which vilify gaming as the devil, the cause of all sin in their world. The people jumping to conclusions that gaming is worse than film, gaming corrupts kids and gaming produced murders and gangsters, are the people that have NEVER picked up and enjoyed an XBox - until their son wipes out his classroom and their prejudices have been set.

    The problem is that until those generations of gamers on whom this burden was put reached adulthood and took important positions in society, who the f*ck was going to listen? "Games are bad" "No their not" "Shut up you're only 10" was the norm back then. Now games are mainstream, and the main customer base for the industry is the bloke in his mid-thirties. These are people whom the stubborn old cnuts have to listen to at last.

    Unfortunately, until they all die, you'll always have some uneducated, greying moaner who assumes they know what's best for the world, or some hick mother who never gave her son enough attention suddenly looking for a reason further than home to explain his homicidal tendencies.

    Games do not create killers. Society creates killers, but doesn't intend on admitting it.
     
  6. thing is we KNOW TV & films show or turn children into crazys... remember young Bulger?
     
  7. Totally agree with the opinions here. I've played video games all my life and if I've ever even got into a fight it was in self defense. There's too much of a blame culture over here but you know what they say 'America sneezes and Britain catches a cold'. Its like most things really, people who don't have a clue about video games getting on their high horse and pretend their sh1t dont stink. Namely members of the church and bored house wives.
     
  8. half the problem is some parents can't seem to figure out a game with a big 18 on the front is not suitable for there 10 year old :twisted:
    mind you my mrs has been on the rampage for the last 10 years about violent video games ever since I laughed while blowing up Vietnamese villages while playing MIA :twisted:
     
  9. I got similar looks from my missus when I mowed down about 200 pedestrians in GTA3, purely to get my wanted level up quickly.

    Don't worry love, your mum's safe. For now.
     
  10. IIRC the excuse, sorry reason, the SAW (and similar) films got a classification and the game didn't was that the outcome of the film wasn't influenced by the viewer, whereas the games are controlled by the player.

    Still utter crap as if your interaction with the real world is seriously influenced by playing a computer game then really you should have been institutionalised a long time ago.
     
  11. Surely if you are mental enough to go out and kill someone the video game is but an excuse.

    I saw my mate playing man hunt then went downstairs and proceeded to murder him with an empty monster much bag. It is rediculous to "blame" video games. Unless you are already mental you would not see murder as an O.K thing to do.
     
  12. BrunoNoMedals

    BrunoNoMedals LE Reviewer

    My bold. That's bull right there. There are very few games on the market where the user influences the outcome. You play the game, and the ending is the same. It's just as scripted as a film, with a set storyline that you have to follow. The fact that you have to manually move yourself through the story does change what'll happen.

    Perhaps they should ban Fallout 3, where you have to consciously take the moral decisions and it does affect the rest of the game.


    As you say, if you're that easily led and psychologically disfunctional then you're going to do something stupid, Playstation or not.
     
  13. What about strategy games like Hearts of Iron 2 or Rome Total War? I've bombed cities flat, enslaved entire races and committed war crimes so terrible I'd be banged up or hung in real life, these games have wholesale as opposed to retail murder! Yet I'm fairly balanced, most of the time...
     
  14. Quite - I make a point of exterminating the French every time I play med2 , I dont think that makes me Joe Stalin or Pol pot though eh? :D

    Anywho , every new form of entertainment has had its critics when they began , happened for radio, films , TV, it was probably was the same for books as well back in the day. It'll pass , and I suppose it gives us some funny loons to poke fun at.

    I'd rather play a game than watch most of the inane shite on TV anyway!
     
  15. Maybe they should have the UN indicting you for war crimes in these games, sort of like the Pope in Medieval Total War 2 excommunicating you...